Poly-partisan political analysis

October 19, 2010 § Leave a comment

One of the most prominent stories on The Daily Beast this week was “The Tea Party’s New Queen” by Shushannah Walshe. This story is a profile of Minnesota state senator Michele Bachmann, who is poised to become one of the key leaders of the Tea Party.  It takes prominence on the site because it is capitalizing on the timeliness of the election and the gigantic buzz around the Tea Party movement.  I think this story is effective because it focuses on a fresher face in the movement, however, the story shows that Bachmann isn’t new bandwagon addition, but someone part of the movement before it “even had a name.”

The story begins by describing Bachmann’s life outside of politics, including the fact that she and her husband had 23 different foster children. The primary source for this information was a “close friend” of Bachmann’s named Beverly LeHaye.  Things would be a little more genuine in the section focusing on Bachmann’s personal life if it actually had quotes from the senator or a family member.  LeHaye is probably the next best thing, but I can’t help but be skeptical about how “close” she really is.

For the sections of the story discussing Bachmann’s political career, the sources seem more reliable.  They include a district office staffer, a former Republican State Senate president, a state representative that worked on legislation with Bachmann and a political science professor at the University of Minnesota.  Also, all of these sources were named, thus making them just that more reliable.

Mostly, this piece is a straight-forward news story. It remains objective and sticks with the “poly-partisan” mission.  Whether or not the writer supports Tea Party politics is unclear, and that is how it should remain.

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